[Hi10 Air] [Tutorial] Instructions to install Linux on the Hi10 Air

Disclaimer: I got this device from Chuwi to test Linux on it. The below findings are my own and express my own opinion.

Specs and short review:

  • Intel Atom x5-Z8350 CPU (4x1,92 GHz)
  • Intel Integrated GPU
  • 1920x1200 10.1" IPS Screen
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB Internal Storage
  • 1 x USB C
  • 1 x USB Micro B
  • 1 x Mini HDMI
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • 2.4GHz WiFi
  • Rotation Sensor
  • Front and Back Camera
  • Mico SD Card slot up to 400GB (Website claims 64GB but I sucessfully tested it with an 128GB Card that uses the SDXC Standard)
  • Headphone Jack
  • Stereo Speakers
  • Keyboard Dock Support
  • Touchpen support

The Chuwi Hi10 Air is a compact 10.1" Tablet running a Windows 10. It has a sturdy Aluminium Body and the overall build quality is astonishing.

The speakers are surprisingly good for a tablet in that price segment. Paired with Bluetooth, a headphone jack and the 1920x1200 WUXGA display it’s perfect for all kind of Media Playback. The battery is powerful enough to easily survive a few Movies. The optional detachable keyboard is a welcome addition for when you need to write some text.

The keyboard is nice to type on, but I had cases where it would send keys out of nowhere. I can’t guarantee that’s not caused by the few drops of water I accidentally spilled on the connection to the tablet at some point. I’m not a big fan of the trackpad, mainly because it’s way to small to be usable for me but that might be because I am used to the trackpad on my 15" MacBook Pro.

The Touchpen is very accurate thanks to the digitizer, however the touchscreen does not send different signals for Pen and Finger to the System. That means trying to take notes while resting your hand on the screen doesn’t really work.

Sadly, the full Windows 10 install user experience is really impacted by the entry level Intel Atom Z8350. It’s just not powerful enough to accomplish any advanced tasks.

However, Chuwi sent me the device to bring linux to it, so that’s what I did. This allows us to use lighter Window Managers and therefore more resources for actual tasks, resulting in a better performance.

Install Linux
First of all you need to install Linux on the tablet. That means you will erase your internal Windows installation, so make sure to either do a backup of it, or at least make yourself familiar with how to reinstall Windows in case it’s needed.

Please note that you can NOT install Linux on an SDCard because the BIOS can not boot from the SDCard.

Backup
You can find the Hi10 Air Windows drivers here:
https://forum.chuwi.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=6861
And a guide here (applies for the Hi10 Air too):
https://forum.chuwi.com/forum.ph … =15&page=7#pid29091
https://forum.chuwi.com/thread-15-1-1.html

Install
Next up, it’s time to choose your Linux distro.
I recommend anything that is based on Arch Linux and that uses either LightDM or lxdm, because that is what my guide will be using to setup certain features. Of cause you’re free to choosewhatever you want.

That means you could for example use Antergos, an ArchLinux based distro that includes Desktop managers (for Antergos I recommend XFCE), or go the hard way and install ArchLinux from scratch and use lxdm with LXQt. LXQt proved to me to be the best lightweight and yet High-DPI friendly Desktop Environment, so that’s what I used.

I trust you will be able to find the guides on how to install either with a quick Google search, so I will not go much further into detail here.
To get into the boot menu, you need to press F7.

After your installation is done most things are already working.

More info in the next post.